Staff Pick

As a native of the Bay Area and having once covered Baltimore politics as a journalist, I thought I knew everything about Nancy Pelosi, from her political roots in Charm City to her political ascent in San Francisco. But reading Ball’s excellent biography, I realized quickly that I knew less than I thought. Ball’s dispassionate reporting (which includes interviews with Pelosi) left me even more admiring of Pelosi’s extraordinary rise from housewife in the Mad Men era to the nation’s first woman Speaker of the House. Ball explores and explains the discipline, energy, tenacity, and sheer political skill required on Pelosi’s part, especially as she constantly confronted double standards as a woman. As flattering as the portrait is, it is not a whitewash but a rich portrait of an historic figure in American politics.

Pelosi Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250252869
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - May 5th, 2020

Staff Pick

Wes Moore’s third book brings him back to Baltimore, where he spent part of his childhood and resides now, to explore the undercurrents of Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of police in April 2015. Moore, currently head of The Robin Hood Foundation, focuses on the five days from Gray’s arrest for allegedly possessing an illegal knife to his death in a coma in a local hospital. Gray’s case made national news and ushered in a period of reckoning for a city on edge. Through interviews with eight Baltimoreans directly affected by the news coverage and protests that followed Gray’s death, Moore details the roots of injustice that led to this cataclysmic moment for the city—and that may yet augur a glimmer of hope for the future.

Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525512363
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: One World - June 23rd, 2020

Staff Pick

Isaiah Quintabe, the protagonist of this fabulous debut crime novel set in Long Beach, is nicknamed IQ for a reason. A brilliant young man who excels in school, he loses his parents and revered older brother as a teenager, leaving him orphaned and adrift. After turning to crime – and using his brains to pull off artfully conceived robberies – he shifts his attention to solving crimes in his inner-city neighborhood and eventually becomes a local folk hero. Ide gives readers a richly developed character in IQ, as well as other sidekicks and antagonists who grace the narrative, and a plot that is absorbing, refreshing, and at times very funny. One of my favorite novels of the past year.

IQ (An IQ Novel #1) Cover Image
By Joe Ide
ISBN: 9780316267731
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Mulholland Books - September 19th, 2017